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SEBI introduces Regulatory Framework for Online Bond Platform Providers; Tweaks takeover code to Facilitate Disinvestment of PSUs

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Sebi introduces regulatory framework for online bond platform providers

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced a regulatory framework to facilitate online bond platforms providers that are selling listed debt securities w.e.f. November 9, 2022.

  • In this regard, SEBI has amended NCS (Issue and Listing of Non-Convertible Securities) Regulations, 2021.
  • The decision for the same has been taken to enhance the confidence among investors that the platforms are provided by SEBI-regulated intermediaries.

What are the new rules?

i.The new rules mandate to obtain registration certificate as a stock broker from SEBI to  act as an online bond platform provider.

ii.Those acting as an online bond platform provider without registration certificate prior to November 9, 2022 can continue to do so for a period of 3 months.

iii.People will have to comply with the conditions of registration as specified by the SEBI from time to time.

What is an online bond platform?

As per SEBI, it is any electronic system, other than a recognized stock exchange or an electronic book provider platform, on which the debt securities are listed or proposed to be listed, are offered and transacted.

  • The online bond platform provider means any person operating or providing such a platform.

SEBI tweaks takeover code to facilitate disinvestment of PSUs

SEBI also amended its Takeover Code to facilitate transactions involving change in control/disinvestment of State-owned enterprises or Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

  • In this regard, SEBI has amended Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations, 2011.

What is the change?

As per the change, acquirers will get flexibility in pricing their open offers for minority shareholders. This means the current requirement of calculating 60 days volume weighted average market price (VWAMP) for determination of open offer price in case of disinvestment of PSU Companies has been dispensed with.

Other Notifications:

i.SEBI notified rules reducing the minimum holding requirement of Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) units by sponsors to 15% from 25% at present to encourage more companies to float REITs.

  • It will be for the period of 3 years from the date of listing of such units pursuant to initial offer on a post-issue basis.
  • Any holding of the sponsor exceeding the minimum holding will be held for at least one year from the date of listing of such units.

ii.SEBI also discontinued a separate regulatory framework for unlisted Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) w.e.f. January 1, 2023.

Recent Related News:

i.SEBI joined the Account Aggregator (AA) framework that will give a boost to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-regulated Financial-Data Sharing System. This will allow customers to share information about their mutual fund and stock holdings with financial service providers.

ii.SEBI provided an additional payment option of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to retail investors to apply in the public issue of units of Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) for application value up to Rs 5 lakh w.e.f. August 1, 2022.